Toto Wolff breaks silence on Lewis Hamilton ‘begging’ for new Mercedes deal

Lewis Hamilton is yet to sign a contract extension with Mercedes despite the 2023 season starting in just over a month.

Towards the end of the 2022 season, Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff both confirmed that they would be sitting down over the winter break to discuss a multi-year contract extension.

Fans are slowly becoming concerned about the future of the 38-year-old however, as Hamilton is yet to extend his contract with the team, with only weeks to go until the team unveil the W14.

The seven-time world champion has spent the most recent part of the winter break celebrating his birthday and training in Antarctica, meaning that he has not physically been present in the UK for negotiations.

German magazine Auto Motor und Sport has recently suggested that Hamilton is ‘begging’ for a new contract at Mercedes after being comprehensively beaten by his young teammate George Russell in 2022.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has rejected these claims, telling the media that Hamilton’s seat is safe with the Silver Arrows.

“I don’t see it that way at all,” said Wolff when asked about Hamilton begging for a new contract.

“I said very early on that Lewis will always have a seat with us. A decision is always discussed between us and Lewis would be the first to say if he’s not enjoying it anymore of thinks he has deficits.

“In this respect, we want to continue and we will certainly negotiate as in previous years. I don’t see any indication that we need to change anything.”

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When asked about the progress of negotiations, Wolff has explained that it is simply a case of Hamilton returning to Europe from his off-season ventures so he can sit down with the team to discuss terms.

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Mercedes have recently shut down reports that were outlining the supposedly leaked terms of Hamilton’s new contract with the team.

The rumours had suggested that the 38-year-old was in line for a £62m per season contract, funded mainly by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, alongside a £22m per year ambassador contract for when he retires, which would last ten seasons.

Mercedes have claimed that these stories are “without foundation,” leaving the future of the British veteran unclear heading into pre-season.